Kuantan to use Jawi in road signs from 2019

Kuantan municipal council president Datuk Fadzilla Salleh says Pahang regent Tengku Abdullah Sultan Ahmad Shah wishes to see wider use of Jawi in the state. ― Bernama pic
Kuantan municipal council president Datuk Fadzilla Salleh says Pahang regent Tengku Abdullah Sultan Ahmad Shah wishes to see wider use of Jawi in the state. ― Bernama pic

KUALA LUMPUR, Nov 26 ― Kuantan will employ the Jawi script for road signs and business premises next year in line with the Pahang regent's decree, the Kuantan municipal council has said.

Kuantan municipal council president Datuk Fadzilla Salleh said Pahang regent Tengku Abdullah Sultan Ahmad Shah wished to see wider use of Jawi in the state, reportedly adding that the council welcomed the suggestion to uphold the script that was increasingly neglected.

“Next year, we will ensure the owners of business premises use the Jawi script in their premises on their signboards as well,” he was quoted saying by local daily Sinar Harian.

“We will soon use the first Jawi script on the road sign for Jalan Tengku Mahkota (the road heading towards Istana Abdul Aziz),” he said, referring to the road towards the Pahang regent's official residence.

Jawi is based on Arabic characters and had been widely used in Malaysia to transcribe the Malay language, before the popularisation of the Roman alphabet in the country.

On November 13, local daily Utusan Malaysia reported the Pahang regent as saying during a programme to uphold the Jawi script that the writing system should be used widely on road signs, business premises, office signs, government agencies and all state education offices in the state.

The Pahang regent also said then that Jawi should be taught in schools until the tertiary level, and thanked the Pekan district council for issuing a circular for all business licence holders to add the Jawi script to existing advertising signs.

The Pahang regent had also thanked the Pahang Public Works Department and Pekan Public Works Department for replacing the signs at major roads with those using the Jawi script.

On November 15, a Twitter user highlighted the existence of bilingual road signs with Mandarin words in Shah Alam, questioning where were the Jawi script that were allegedly used previously.

The Shah Alam City Council explained that the existence of dual-language road signs with either the Jawi script or Mandarin characters were in line with the Selangor government's permanent committee on Local Government's 2017 decision based on the locations of the road signs at either traditional villages or the predominantly Chinese new villages.

The Selangor Sultan had on November 19 issued a decree that all bilingual road signs featuring Mandarin in Shah Alam should be dismantled and replaced with Bahasa Malaysia-only versions before December 11, which the Shah Alam City Council complied with.

Malaysia's road signs are generally only in Bahasa Malaysia.